Abbildungen der Seite

these affairs in a proper light, will then be highly necessary. My private concerns, however, so much require my presence *athome, that I have not yet suffered myself, to be persuaded by their partial opinion of me.

The tumults and disorders that prevailed here lately have ndw pretty well subsided. Wilkes's outlawry, is reversed; but he is sentenced to twenty-two months' imprisonment, and 1000/. fine, which his friends, who feared he would be pilloried, seem rather satisfied with. The importation of corn, a pretty good hay harvest, now near over, and the prospect of plenty from a fine crop of wheat, makes the poor more patient, in hopes of an abatement in the price of provisions; so that unless want of emplo)ment by the failure of American orders should distress them, they are like to be tolerably quiet.

1 purpose writing to you again by the packet that goes next Saturday ; and therefore now only add that I am, with sincere esteem, dear sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

B. Franklin.

To ***

Dear Sir, London, Nov.Q8,1768.

I received your obliging favor of the 12th instant.. Your sentiments of the importance of the present dispute between Great Britain and the colonies, appear to me extremely just. There is nothing I wish for more than to see it amicably and equitably settled.

But Providence will bring about its own ends by its own means; and if it intends the downfal of a nation, that nation will be so blinded by its pride, and other passions, as not to see its danger, .or how its fall may be prevented. . Being born and bred in one of the countries, and having lived long and made many agreeable connexions of friendship in the other, I wish all prosperity to both; but I have talked



and written so much and so long on the subject, that my acquaintance are weary of hearing, and the public of reading any more of it, which begins to make me weary of talking and writing; especially as I do not find that 1 have gained any point, in either country, except that of rendering myself suspected, by my impartiality; in England, of being too much an American, and in America, of being too much an Englishman. Your opinion, however, weighs with me, and encourages me to try one effort more, in a full, though concise statement of facts, accompanied with arguments drawn from those facts, to be published about the meeting of parliament, after the holidays.1»u

If any good may be done I shall rejoice; but at present I almost despair. ... . .,• .; c.-. *".•:• ,e«i

Have you ever seen the barometer so low as of late? The 22d instant mine was at 18. 41. and yet the weather fine and fair. With sincere esteem, I am, dear friend, yours affectionately, B. Franklin.

. "i * To M. Dubourg,' Paris.

Great Britain no right to tax the North American colonies.'

London, October 2, 1770. I see with pleasure that we think pretty muck alike on the subjects of English America. We of the colonies have never insisted that we ought to be exempt from contributing to the common expenses necessary to support the prosperity of the empire. We only assert, that having parliaments of our own, and not having representatives in

1 Uncertain what is the publication promised in this letter; possibly the one intitled "Causes of the American Discontents before 1768." See Wurrisos, Part i. . soft/ C"

\ Translator of Dr. Franklin's Philosophical Works.

that of Great Britain, our parliaments are the only judges of what we can and what we ought to contribute in this , case; and that the English parliament has no right to take our money without our consent. In fact, the British empire is not a single state; it comprehends many; and though the/ parliament of Great Britain has arrogated to itself the power of taxing the colonies, it has no more right to do so than it has to tax Hanover. We have the same king, but not the same legislatures.

The dispute between the two countries has already lost England many millions sterling, which it has lost in its commerce, and America has in this respect been a proportionable gainer. This commerce consisted principally of superfluities; objects of luxury and fashion, which we can well do without; and the resolution we have formed of importing no more till our grievances are redressed, has enabled many of our infant manufactures to take root; and it will not be easy to make our people abandon them in future, even should a connexion more cordial than ever succeed the present troubles. 1 have indeed no doubt that the parliament of England will finally abandon its present pretensions, and leave us to the peaceable enjoyment of our rights and privileges.

lo Governor Franklin. Removal of Lord tiillsborough,succeeded by Lord Dartmouth. Dear Son, London, August 17, 1772.

At length we have got rid of Lord Hillsborough, and Lord Dartmouth takes his place, to the great satisfaction of all the friends of America. You will hear it said among you (I suppose) that the interest of the Ohio planters has ousted him; but the truth is, what I wrote you

[ocr errors]

long since, that all his brother-ministers disliked him extremely and wished for a fair occasion of tripping up his' heels; so seeing that he made a point of defeating: our scheme, they made another of supporting it, on purpose to mortify him, which they knew his pride could hot bear. I do not mean that they would have done this if they had thought our proposal bad in itself, or his opposition well founded; but I believe if he had been on good terms with them, they would not have differed with him small a matter. The K. too was tired of him, and of his administration, which had weakened the affection and respect of the colonies for a royal government, with which (1 may say it to you) I used proper means from time to time that his M. should have due information and convincing proofs. More of this when I see you. The K.'s dislike made theiothers more firmly united in the resolution of disgracing II. by setting at nought his famous report. But now that business is done, perhaps our affair may be less regarded in the cabinet, and suffered to linger, and possibly may yet miscarry. Therefore let us beware of every word and action that may betray a confidence in its success, lest we render ourselves ridiculous in case of disappointment. We are now pushing for a completion of the business; but the time is unfa vorable,. every body gone or going into the country, which gives room for accidents. I am writing by Falconer, and therefore in this only add that I am ever your affectionate father, . i*'..

B. Franklin.

P. S. The regard Lord D. has always done me the honor to express for me, gives me room to hope being able to obtain more in .favor of our colonies upon occasion, than 1 could for some time past. . :i v. ••...•; i- .•

-*uj 4'..' .!: , .. . . •. .' .'...,'*.".

s'u...i i ,. To Governor Franklin.

■Lord HillsboroughRefused admittance to Mm, fyc.

,1 DiEAR Son> London, August 19, 1772.

'.. tn ii..; I received yours of June .30. I am vexed

that my letter to you, written at Glasgow, miscarried; not so much that you did not receive it; as that it is probably in other hands. It contained some accounts of what passed in Ireland, which were for you only.

As lord Hillsborough in fact got nothing out of me, I should rather suppose he threw me away as an orange that would yield no juice, and therefore not worth more squeezing. When I had been a little while returned to London 1 waited on him to thank him for his civilities in Ireland, aud to discourse with him on a Georgia affair. The porter told me he was not at home. I left my card, went another time, and received the same answer, though I knew he was at home, a friend of mine being with him. After intermissions of * •week each, I made two ipore visits, and received the same answer. The last time was on a levee day, when a number •of Carriages were at his door. My coachman driving up, alighted, and was opening the coach door, when the porter, seeing me, came out, and surlily chid the coachman tor opening the door before he had inquired whether my lord was at home; and then turning to me, said, "My lord is not at home." I have never since been nigh him, and we have only abused one another at a distance. The contrast, as you. observe, is very striking between his conversation with the chief justice, and his letter to you concerning your province. I know him to be as double and deceitful as any man I ever met with. But we have done with him, I hope, for ever. His removal has I believe been meditated ever since the death

« ZurückWeiter »